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RA Drugs Not Implicated In Cancer

nth period before exposure to either a biologic DMARD or MTX. In general, biologic DMARD users had more severe RA than MTX users. No subject had a diagnosis of any cancer before starting their prescribed drug treatment. Each subject was followed after beginning use of either a biologic DMARD or MTX, with attention to diagnosis of cancer followed by any course or combination of palliative care, biopsy, radiation, chemotherapy, or surgery. Using time-varying propensity scores to adjust for a wide range of possible factors and stratified proportional hazards regression, researchers estimated the effects of biological DMARDs on cancer.

From their rigorous definition of cancer, researchers identified a total of 11 cancers of the blood and lymphatic systems and 46 cancerous tumors during 2,940 person-years of biologic DMARD use, and 58 cancers of the blood and lymphatic systems and 558 tumors during 30,300 person-years of MTX use. Comparing biologic DMARD users with MTX users, the hazard ratio was 1.37 for blood-related cancers and 0.91 for solid tumors. The overall difference in estimated cancer risk was less than 5 percent between RA patients treated with a TNF blocker and those treated with a standard DMARD.

"We found no significant increase in the risk of cancers in biologic DMARD users," notes the study's lead authors, Soko Setoguchi, M.D. Dr.P.H and Sebastian Schneeweiss, M.D, Sc.D. "Our data indicate that it is unlikely that RA patients who have received biologic agents have a much greater risk of lymphoproliterative disorders, hematologic malignancies, and solid tumors compared with MTX users." Drs, Setoguchi and Schneeweiss, however, acknowledges the challenge of studying the effects of a relatively novel therapy on rare forms of blood cancer, as well as the need for ongoing studies into the risks and benefits associated with anti-TNF therapy.

Source: Eurekalert

Source-Eurekalert
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